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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Tagum’s giant Christmas tree lighting (Nov.20, 2013)



TAGUM CITY, Davao — This city’s kick-off of its Christmas season through the lighting of its 78-feet giant holiday tree was made more meaningful as survivors of Supertyphoon Yolanda from the devastated province of Leyte joined in the festivities last November 20, 2013.
Close to 10 families comprising of 35 individuals from Leyte—which greatly suffered the brunt of the strongest supertyphoon in history to make landfall—witnessed the festivities along with Tagumeños from all walks of life who flocked to the Freedom Park to take part in lighting the city’s Christmas icon.

It’s a different atmosphere from the totally devastated Leyte, said 45-year old Gina Jonale who sought refuge in Tagum along with her husband and three children, adding that she considers their “second life” the best Christmas present.
Their relatives fetched them in Leyte to start anew and rebuild all that was destroyed by Yolanda.

On the part of the local government, Mayor Allan Rellon welcomed them and stressed that the city government is more than willing to extend assistance to them. Upon his prior meeting with the refugees, Mayor Rellon initially offered aid in form of Sulong Dunong scholarships, food, clothing and possible employment for the heads of the family.
The local chief executive urged the public to make the Christmas season an opportunity to help those in need.

Other survivors said Wednesday’s ceremony made them hopeful for a brighter tomorrow despite of what they have gone through.
Thousands graced Wednesday’s highly-anticipated event, an annual tradition in Tagum that traces its roots wayback in 2000, which was highlighted by the 78-feet giant holiday tree that is hoisted in the heart of the city, all adorned with twinkling lights in form of flowers, stars, angels, birds, rain drops and palm trees. On top of it is the symbolic insignia of the EAGLE WINGS program of the current administration, which serves as compass of the LGU’s programs and policies.

Performances during the event are rendered by the Tagum City Chamber Chorale, the Tagum City Junior Symphonic Orchestra and the brass bands from Tagum City National Comprehensive High School and Tagum City National High School, and the finalists of the LGU-led amateur singing contest dubbed as Kantahan sa Tagum.

Thousands of Tagumeños flocked to the Freedom Park to witness
the lighting of the 78-feet Giant Holiday Tree last November 20, 2013.
Photo by Louie Lapat of CIO Tagum

Below Photo:
Mayor Allan L. Rellon led local leaders headlined by Vice Governor Victorio R. Suaybaguio, Jr. and Vice Mayor Geterito Gementiza and the members of the 6th City Council of Tagum during the lighting of Tagum City’s 78-feet Giant Holiday Tree last November 20, 2013. 

Photo by Louie Lapat of CIO Tagum.





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